Exploring the urban water-energy-food nexus under environmental hazards within the Nile

Nadir Ahmed Elagib, Suhair A. Gayoum Saad, Mohammed Basheer, Abbas E. Rahma, Emmanuela Darius Lado Gore

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    The integrative approach of water, energy, and food nexus (WEF nexus) is now widely accepted to offer better planning, development, and operation of these resources. This study presents a first attempt towards understanding the WEF nexus of urban environments in the Nile River Basin under conditions of hydrological droughts and fluvial floods. A case study was conducted for the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile for illustration. The results were based on analyses of river flow and water turbidity data, field observations, a printed questionnaire and an interview of farmers practicing irrigated agriculture, and hydropower modeling. The study analyzes indicators for the association of the river water resources environment (intra-annual regime, quantity, and quality), the status of urban irrigated agriculture, water treatment for domestic use, and hydropower generation under hydrological extremes, i.e. droughts and fluvial floods. It additionally examines the consequent interactions between the impacts on three sectors. The present study shows how floods and droughts impose impacts on seasonal river water quality and quantity, water treatment for domestic use, irrigated agriculture, and hydro-energy supply in an urban environment. The results demonstrate how the two hydrological phenomena determine the state of hydropower generation from dams, i.e. high energy production during floods and vice versa during droughts. Hydropower dams, in turn, could induce cons in the form of low fertile soils in the downstream due to sediment retention by the reservoir. Finally, present and potential options to minimize the above risks are discussed. This study is hoped to offer good support for integrated decision making to increase the resource use efficiency over the urban environment within the Nile Basin.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
    Early online date18 Jul 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019


    • Hydrological drought
    • Fluvial flood
    • Water turbidity
    • Urban irrigated agriculture
    • Water treatment
    • Hydropower


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